Many businesses have explored the option of adding live chat support to their websites, but have been put off by a number of factors be it technical, financial or purely a lack of man-power.
But adding a live chat facility can provide a number of benefits – as we have found out at Dunlop where we have just launched an Online Live Chat on our new website www.dunloptrade.com which is open 9-5pm on weekdays.
First and foremost, live chat has the ability to provide instant convenient answers that customers are looking for, while adding benefits for staff and improving the bottom line.
An online chat system provides immediate access to help, with wait times compared to call centres or customer service centres drastically reduced. What’s more, customers can multi-task while waiting for an answer.
The popularity of live chat is borne out by recent surveys. For example a survey by ATG Global Consumer Trend found that 90% of customers consider live chat helpful and an emarketer.com survey discovered that 63% of respondents were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
As well as reducing waiting time for customers, live chat also drastically reduces company expenditure, by saving on both employee task time and phone expenses.
With employees spending less time on the phone, they can multi-task during chat conversations and cut the waiting queue to a fraction of its former size when compared to a call centre.
More importantly, perhaps, is that this process improvement increases the chances of overall sales. The key is that customer service staff can immediately walk someone through a product or service if they become confused or have a question that can make or break a sale.
Having a live chat facility can also give you an edge on your competition – it is becoming a key feature that websites must have for companies to be competitive. Live chat, as well as other tools such as social media, provides a simple way to connect with customers who make purchasing decisions online – even if they don’t actually buy the product through e-commerce.
As well as influencing purchasing decisions, live chat gives companies an opportunity to monitor so-called customer “pain points.” Marketing teams can use these “pain points” to create new content or update their sales procedures or literature, which in turn, can lead into sales opportunities.
Live chat provides immediate access to these customers “pain points”. When customers use live chat, they’ll use it to find out whether a product will perform as advertised or that a promotion will provide the discount they want. In addition, as live representatives talk to customers, they can find out ways to improve a company’s products and services.
Now it’s over to you!
Debi Boulton is sales and marketing manager at Dunlop.